BY No Author | May 4 2018 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


From Lerwick to Land’s End: Great Britain is encircled by the Rosary

Bishop Keenan uses UK-wide event to call for national effort to provide alternatives to abortion - by Peter Diamond and Ryan McDougall

The Bishop of Paisley has called for a UK-wide ‘renewal of the Catholic Faith in our Church and nations’ and a ‘national effort to give women a better option than abortion.’

Last weekend marked the 50th anniversary since the Abortion Act commenced on UK shores, with Catholics marking the occasion by gathering across the country for a ‘Rosary on the Coast.’

The event was the biggest Catholic gathering since Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI visited Scotland in 2010, as tens of thousands of people took part in the event across Britain.

More than 40,000 faithful attended over 400 locations on the afternoon of Sunday April 29 to publicly bear witness to the Rosary, as spiritual leaders joined them to pray for Faith, life and peace.

In his homily for the event, Bishop John Keenan of Paisley Diocese, one of the main organisers of the Rosary on the Coast, said: “Today we gather at the coast of the British Isles to pray Our Lady’s intercession, in her Most Holy Rosary, for a great renewal of Faith, life and peace in our land.

“We gather here on the west coast of Scotland, conscious that we are united with tens of thousands of our fellow Catholics and friends in Christ, spread across 400 locations in every corner of our lands, and in far-off islands.

“We have gathered together on this day sensing an inspiration from Our Lady herself, who reminds us that ‘more is obtained with one day of intense prayer than with years of continuous discussions.’


Bishop Keenan called on those who attended to pray for a ‘New Evangelisation of our land’ with the help of the Holy Spirit.

“We come to pray for a renewal of the Catholic Faith in our Church and nations,” he said. “We come to pray for a great New Evangelisation of our land, brought about by the Holy Spirit working through the whole people of God: the aged, the children, even infants at the breast, the bridegroom in his room, the bride under her canopy, even the priests between vestibule and altar.

“We remember the Faith of our fathers, our grandparents, whose heroic sacrifices, when they had next to nothing, raised up the mighty cathedrals, churches and schools which we see still today; from there spreading holiness and devotion all across our shores.

“We pray for a renewal in us of their ardent Faith, that went all the way to the Cross, in order to pass onto us some precious share in the Kingdom of God.”


One of the key themes surrounding the Rosary on the Coast was that of the sanctity of life, with the Church’s spiritual leaders encouraging those in attendance to pray for a more hopeful vision of the future.

Bishop Keenan said: “We come to pray for a return in our land to awareness of the absolute dignity and value of every human person and child of God, especially for this dignity to be restored to our unborn brothers and sisters.

“We pray that every Catholic, indeed all our fellow citizens, refuse to rest until no woman feels she has no other choice but the sadness of the abortion clinic.

“We pray for a national effort to do much more, so that every woman in this land always has close at hand a better choice than abortion. And so we pray for an end to the defeatism of abortion, 50 years after the passing of the Abortion Act and the deaths of nine million little ones.

“We pray for a more hopeful vision of life for both mother and child, the kind of life Our Lord Jesus brings: life, and that to the full.

He added: “May our Rosary prayers through Our Lady today be like an offering of wool that she can spin into a tapestry of prayer for Faith, life and peace on the British Isles.”

More than 100 people attended the Rosary on the Coast at Ayr Beach, joining Bishop William Nolan of Galloway Diocese in praying for a renewal and conversion to the Faith in Great Britain.

Following Sunday’s event, Bishop Nolan said: “It was an excellent day: so simple, but so good to have so many people gather here and praying the Rosary together, singing out and expressing their Faith; praying for our country and praying that Our Lady will embrace these lands just as all these many groups around the shores of Britain are embracing the moment, praying for the good of the country.”




Leave a Reply

previous lead stories

Dunkeld to launch initiative to bring lapsed Catholics back to the Church

January 11th, 2019 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Dunkeld Diocese to establish ‘School of Catechists’ for new evangelisation...

Charities and foodbanks are ‘picking up the slack’ from government, says SSVP head

January 4th, 2019 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

As report reveals the huge scope of SSVP Scotland’s work,...

Pray this Christmas for those persecuted for their faith

December 21st, 2018 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Catholics in China have strong Faith and hope despite persecution,...

Call to put Jesus at the heart of Christmas after nativities snub

December 14th, 2018 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Update: The SCO has since publication been informed that the...

Social media

Latest edition


exclusively in the paper


  • Festival to focus on St Mungo as a refugee
  • Heritage appointee is looking to record stories of parishes’ hidden female heroes
  • Cardinal Burke celebrates Rome funeral for Scottish priest
  • The merchant’s son who renounced his wealth, by Dr Harry Schnitker
  • In praise of those who find strength in God, by Richard Purden

Previous editions

Previous editions of the Scottish Catholic Observer newspaper are only available to subscribed Members. To download previous editions of the paper, please subscribe.

note: registered members only.

Read the SCO